There is just something so powerful about choosing to be thankful through the storms and messes of this life. It’s not always easy to posture our hearts toward thankfulness and gratitude when we’re hurting, angry, struggling through difficult circumstances, grieving or just feeling worn out. But in our suffering and brokenness, when we hold gratitude beside the pain, we are choosing to see God’s goodness in every season, even the difficult ones. We are acknowledging that yes, we are struggling but at the same time, declaring that even through the difficulties, God is still good!
I know it’s not easy and sometimes we can get stuck in our depression or grief or bitterness regarding the things we are walking through but I want to encourage you to take some time today to write down what you’re thankful for and then read that list to God, thanking him for the blessings that he has given you. I’ve created a gratitude journal page to do just that. You’ll find it at the end of this post, as my gift to you!
If you’re struggling to see God’s goodness right now in your life, tape your list up on a wall or on your mirror or hang it on your fridge. Place it somewhere you can see it every day and read it aloud. Look and see what the Lord has done. Let your ears hear what the Lord has done. Be thankful for what the Lord has done and offer your thanks to him in prayer.
If this is a particularly difficult season for you right now, then at first, you may only be able to find simple things to be thankful for such as “waking up” or “the sunshine”. That’s okay! Maybe it will take you some time to fill up your page. It’s good to thank God for the little things too!
Here are some other things to try if you’d like to posture your heart toward gratitude, especially through a harder season:
Every day write 3 things you’re thankful for on a sticky note or small piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Do this for a week or even a month. While you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready for your day or preparing for bed, thank the Lord for the things you wrote down. Watch how quickly your mood and outlook will change!
Take it further! Get an old jar and designate it as your gratitude jar. Decorate the outside of it if you’d like. Every day write something you’re thankful for on a piece of paper, date it and stick it inside your jar. This is also a great activity for kids. You could have a family jar or each person could have their own. This is also a fun activity to start on New Years Day. Fill the jar every day of the year and spend some time on New Years Eve reading all the reasons you were thankful throughout the year. What a great way to look ahead toward the year to come!
I know it can be difficult to find reasons to be thankful, especially when we’re suffering but I have found that when I am intentional about thanking God in hard seasons, the first thing to happen is a heart change. Then my outlook shifts. Depression lifts. And before long, I’m thanking God for just about everything I can because I no longer feel stuck in sorrow but rather, I feel overcome with his beauty that surrounds. It’s in the most trying times, when I offer thanks to God, that he shows me his goodness. And in the darkness, his light shines brightest.
I hope you’ll give it a try!
A Psalm. For giving thanks.
Shout for joy to the Lord., all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Please enjoy this FREE downloadable journal page to record what you are thankful for!